9780156031578

The Waves

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780156031578

  • ISBN10:

    0156031574

  • Edition: Annotated
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-07-03
  • Publisher: Mariner Books

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Summary

The Waves is often regarded as Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, standing with those few works of twentieth-century literature that have created unique forms of their own. In deeply poetic prose, Woolf traces the lives of six children from infancy to death who fleetingly unite around the unseen figure of a seventh child, Percival. Allusive and mysterious, The Waves yields new treasures upon each reading.Annotated and with an introduction by Molly Hite

Author Biography

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century, transformed the art of the novel. The author of numerous novels, collections of letters, journals, and short stories, she was an admired literary critic and a master of the essay form.

Mark Hussey, general editor of Harcourt's new annotated Woolf series, is professor of English and women's and gender studies, and editor of the Woolf Studies Annual, at Pace University. He lives in Upper Nyack, New York.

Table of Contents

Preface
Virginia Woolf Chronology Introduction
The Waves
Notes to The Waves
Suggestions for Further Reading:
Virginia Woolf Suggestions for Further Reading:
The Waves
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

The WavesTHE SUN had not yet risen. The sea was indistinguishable from the sky, except that the sea was slightly creased as if a cloth had wrinkles in it. Gradually as the sky whitened a dark line lay on the horizon dividing the sea from the sky and the grey cloth became barred with thick strokes moving, one after another, beneath the surface, following each other, pursuing each other, perpetually.As they neared the shore each bar rose, heaped itself, broke and swept a thin veil of white water across the sand. The wave paused, and then drew out again, sighing like a sleeper whose breath comes and goes unconsciously. Gradually the dark bar on the horizon became clear as if the sediment in an old wine-bottle had sunk and left the glass green. Behind it, too, the sky cleared as if the white sediment there had sunk, or as if the arm of a woman couched beneath the horizon had raised a lamp and flat bars of white, green and yellow, spread across the sky like the blades of a fan. Then she raised her lamp higher and the air seemed to become fibrous and to tear away from the green surface flickering and flaming in red and yellow fibres like the smoky fire that roars from a bonfire. Gradually the fibres of the burning bonfire were fused into one haze, one incandescence which lifted the weight of the woollen grey sky on top of it and turned it to a million atoms of soft blue. The surface of the sea slowly became transparent and lay rippling and sparkling until the dark stripes were almost rubbed out. Slowly the arm that held the lamp raised it higher and then higher until a broad flame became visible; an arc of fire burnt on the rim of the horizon, and all round it the sea blazed gold.The light struck upon the trees in the garden, making one leaf transparent and then another. One bird chirped high up; there was a pause; another chirped lower down. The sun sharpened the walls of the house, and rested like the tip of a fan upon a white blind and made a blue fingerprint of shadow under the leaf by the bedroom window. The blind stirred slightly, but all within was dim and unsubstantial. The birds sang their blank melody outside.I SEE a ring, said Bernard, hanging above me. It quivers and hangs in a loop of light.I see a slab of pale yellow, said Susan, spreading away until it meets a purple stripe.I hear a sound, said Rhoda, cheep, chirp; cheep, chirp; going up and down.I see a globe, said Neville, hanging down in a drop against the enormous flanks of some hill.I see a crimson tassel, said Jinny, twisted with gold threads.I hear something stamping, said Louis. A great beasts foot is chained. It stamps, and stamps, and stamps.Look at the spiders web on the corner of the balcony, said Bernard. It has beads of water on it, drops of white light.The leaves are gathered round the window like pointed ears, said Susan.A shadow falls on the path, said Louis, like an elbow bent.Islands of light are swimming on the grass, said Rhoda. They have f

Excerpted from The Waves by Virginia Woolf
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